If it were a database, you can use a timed query at some regular interval, then if it returns with records you get an alarm (pop up probably). I don't know what languages you may know, but any could be used realy. For a spreadsheet, so long as the spreadsheet is open and you have a means of executing code (via timer or button) then you can do the same. Excel didn't have timers, so I wrote my own in C++ and can do the same in VB, just an external timer that triggers a macro in the spreadsheet. Even if you are not a VBexpert, you can just have a macro sort your appointments, so that your next reminders are at the top. But though I can do each of those, I can't help wondering if you can. So there is another oprion that is probably much better. Get a google account and use google applications. Added advantage of not being tied to your laptop, if it gets broken you can still get to all of your data. Documents, spreadsheets, calender, websites both private and public, Email which you can forward to your company email or vice versa, It is quick and easy, make a note somewhere safe (no, not on that scrap of paper, on a proper piece of paper) of your username and password, pop it into an envelope in a tin box or somewhere. Because it wont be long before you are in and out of the office so often that you will use the auto-login then a year or so later when you have dropped your laptop in the cannel on a bad hair day, you can use that paper in that envelope to remind you of your login details.